Infectious Mononucleosis

There have been several players whose careers have been affected by Infectious Mononucleosis (aka: Mono or “the kissing disease”): Mario Ancic, Roger Federer, Christina McHale, Heather Watson and Robin Soderling immediately come to mind.


  • Mono is caused primarily by EBV (Epstein Barr Virus)
  • 95% of the adult world has been exposed to EBV (a Herpes virus)
  • EBV often causes no symptoms in the infected adult
  • However, at least 25% of teenagers and young adults who get infected will develop Infectious Mono
  • Other causes include: CMV (Cytomegalovirus); HIV; Hepatitis A, B and C; Rubella virus; Toxoplasma gondii (Toxoplasmosis); and Streptococcal Pyogenes (strep throat)
  • It is contagious
  • It is transmitted by bodily fluids: saliva, blood, semen, tears

SYMPTOMS may appear 4-6 weeks after exposure/infection with EBV

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Head and body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes (axillary, cervical and inguinal)
  • Enlargement of the liver or spleen (known as organomegaly) may also occur in some people


  • Diagnosis is made primarily by your presenting symptoms
  • Blood tests can be done to make the diagnosis if symptoms are atypical


    • Symptoms are usually self-limiting and most people get better within 2-4 weeks; however, fatigue and organomegaly, if present, may persist for several more weeks.
    • A small percentage of people remain symptomatic for 6 months or more (chronic active EBV infection).
    • Consult your doctor to get correctly diagnosed
    • No vaccine is currently available for Infectious Mononucleosis.
    • Stay hydrated.
    • Get as much rest as possible.
    • OTC (over-the-counter) anti-inflammatory medications may help with the pain and fever.

1 Comment

  1. This is a very interesting article. Thanks for putting out the facts. I have 2 young adult children, and I will definitely share this information with them; furthermore have them read it themselves so they can understand the seriousness of mono.

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